Last Updated on September 8, 2023
I took time to look deeper into possible fiberglass use by Purple, a bigger brand than I usually put my focus on. Normally, I research smaller brands that are more likely to have fiberglass because they sell more economical mattresses. However, in the end, it looks like Purple was in need of a little more scrutiny after all.
Purple has been around for a while, and it likes to bring up its certifications without actually providing proof. When searching Google about Purple mattresses and fiberglass, everyone seems to have taken what Purple has said about being made without fiberglass as truth without a second thought.
What’s the Purple Website Say about Fiberglass?
Purple’s website is very limited in material information. The only part of its mattresses it gives much information on are the covers. The top cover materials are mostly polyester and Spandex, but there are some other fabrics used on the bottom and side covers, including rayon.
Its “FlexGrid” of squares that it’s known for is just called a proprietary hyper-elastic polymer. No other material information is given, except for another page explaining the white powder found on the purple part of the mattress. Apparently it’s a polyethylene copolymer powder used to make the tacky purple part of the mattress not stick to itself when rolled up and compressed for shipping.
However, Purple doesn’t have much of anything to say of value regarding fiberglass in Purple mattresses. The Purple FAQ page has one answer about fiberglass. The FAQ page says fiberglass is not being used, but Purple does not disclose what they are actually using if it’s not fiberglass. Purple just says it’s “proud of the innovation that went into the Premium and Luxe Collection builds, including a new and approved flame-retardant protocol that does not utilize harmful, toxic chemicals or fiberglass material”.
The FAQ section of a different blog post states Purple mattresses are fiberglass free, but fails to state what method is used to pass flammability tests instead. It also highlights a CertiPUR-US certification as if that ensures a lack of fiberglass, but CertiPUR-US certification only ensures that memory foam is low VOC and nothing else.
The article also states that CertiPUR foams are eco-friendly, which is just not true. The page also states that GreenGuard Gold certification means it’s healthy, but that just means it’s a product of low chemical emissions and not much more. This shows a big lack of understanding when it comes to material certifications by Purple, or at least the person who writes its blog posts.
My confidence in the brand and its mattress materials is stunted at this point. I decided to get in contact with Purple via chat in hopes they’d offer more information about its fire barrier, or at least concrete proof of being fiberglass free.
What Does Purple Live Chat Say about Fiberglass?
I got in contact with Purple through its website Live Chat feature to ask about fiberglass and flammability tests. Things did not go as well as I’d hoped. Purple is just as ambiguous in live chat as they are in its blog and FAQ pages. The Purple chat representative basically just copy and pasted the same information I had already seen on the pages linked to above.
I decided to send the chat representative an image from another mattress review website, a screenshot of an email reply from Purple. In the email screenshot, Purple admits to using fiberglass in Purple mattresses. Here’s an excerpt from the email reply:
“While this barrier does include some fiberglass, we want to ensure our sleepers are never exposed to fiberglass. This is why the fiberglass contained in our barrier is spun into the core of the yarn, which is then knit into the fabric.”
For reference, this is the exact way “core-spun fiberglass” is used in fireproof socks found inside most cheap memory foam mattresses, it’s not something new or innovative.
The Purple Chat rep made zero attempts to refute the statements in the email screenshot, and instead only semi-deflected by saying this in response:
“There is no actual fiberglass, but the Essential Collection uses a silica fiber spun into yarn and knit into the fabric of each mattress’s fire sock, a protective layer that is underneath the cover.”
The mention of silica in the reply was the only piece of extra information given to me that I did not already have before getting in contact.
I asked the Purple chat rep for more information on this non-fiberglass silica flame barrier, but I was told that I’d already been provided with the only information available. My confidence in Purple mattresses being made without fiberglass basically hit rock bottom at this point.
What is Silica?
Silica, also known as Silicon Dioxide, is a natural substance mostly found as quartz. The majority of sand in the world is mostly composed of silica, making it a very common material.
Silica is used in many common products, including cosmetics, moisture absorbers, as well as in toothpaste where it acts as a scrubbing abrasive.
Glass is also made mostly from silica sand. This is why lightning strikes in deserts and beaches often result in lumps of glass known as fulgurites.
Fiberglass is made with a high percentage of silica, mixed with other materials, that’s formed into threads and then coated with a polyester-based resin coating. This is why some mattress makers get away with calling fiberglass a “natural material”, they are just referring to the silica ingredient being naturally derived. It’s very shady, and nothing has been done about it when it comes to laws or federal regulations.
Do Purple Mattresses use Silica or Fiberglass?
It’s hard to sift through all the misinformation and be sure without some transparency from Purple.
I can’t say definitively that Purple uses fiberglass. I have a strong suspicion that Purple is just referring to fiberglass as “silica” because they can get away with it, but I have no proof. Without proof, I won’t say I’m 100% certain, especially because Purple has a legal team that will probably sue me if I’m wrong.
Either way, I’d just avoid Purple mattresses on the basis of them having zero transparency. Purple won’t tell you exactly what materials are used in the mattresses, so don’t sleep on them just for that reason. There are plenty of other mattress brands that will tell you exactly what every material is in their mattresses, down to the types of thread used to stitch it together, and even the suppliers of the zippers used.
Many of the more material-transparent mattress makers are cheaper than Purple too.
Possible Contamination from Purple Mattress
There’s a user on reddit that made a post on r/WhatIsThis titled “Is this fiberglass? Found inside my purple mattress” that included a video of a fiber strand that looks suspiciously like fiberglass.
Initially I wasn’t too concerned because it’s a single clump of fibers the user seemingly removed, and commenters were saying it’s probably a loose strand from a dryer sheet.
Then the post author posted a follow-up video of their bed sheet covered in shimmery fiberglass-like particles. It turns out the user removed their Purple mattress top cover and washed it in the washing machine before realizing it’s not rcommended to do that.
If removing a cover and washing it can lead to that kind of contamination, so a could a rip put in the cover by pets, children, or even by adults on accident. No thanks, I don’t want a mess like that in my home no matter if it’s fiberglass or silica thread.
John started JSnowCreations as a place to post random tech guides and product reviews. However, while shopping for his daughter’s first “big girl” bed in 2019 he learned about the hidden dangers of fiberglass in mattresses. Since then, John has made it his mission to expose as much hidden fiberglass in mattresses as possible. His ultimate goal is federal regulations that ban fiberglass from being used in mattresses, or at least a law that require it to be listed in the material tags.